Meet Head of School Brian Thomas
On July 1, 2021, Brian Thomas began his tenure as Proctor's next Head of School. A native of Robbins and Harvey, Illinois (on Chicago’s far south side), Brian graduated from Yale University (BA in History) and Portland State University (MS in Education), and has spent thirty years in independent school education preparing for this opportunity to lead Proctor.
Over the past two years, Brian has immersed himself in the Proctor community, learning the complexities, personalities, and uniqueness of the school. Brian notes, “The Proctor Academy of today fits more than just our current context, it thrums with the fierce urgency to do things that matter deeply to those of us who are fortunate enough to be here now and hereafter. Proctor prepares students to build their lives, to make things better for others, and to internalize lessons that will sustain all of us for generations to come. Be it on the fields of play or in one of the many classroom spaces near and far, we give our all and do our best. We embody our motto - Live to Learn. Learn to Live. – to enable students to find meaning and purpose in their lives. In every aspect of our expansive educational model, we capture and guide the engaged and passionate young mind to be more than they ever thought they could be.”
Prior to Proctor, Brian served as the Assistant Head of School at Mary Institute and St. Louis Country Day School, a PreK-Grade 12 independent day school in St. Louis (MO) that serves more than 1,200 students. Previously, Brian also served as Associate Head of School at Bentley School (Oakland, CA) and Head of School at Presidio Hill School (San Francisco, CA) and Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy (Las Vegas). His early teaching career included roles as English Teacher, English Department Head, Humanities Coordinator, and baseball and basketball coach. Prior to discovering his passion for teaching and working in independent schools, Brian was a professional actor, working off-Broadway and in Hollywood, and it is this love of the arts that has led him to remain engaged on the Board of Trustees of the Center of Creative Arts in St. Louis.
A frequent speaker at the national level, Brian’s varied experiences across independent schools in the western United States have honed his belief that embracing diverse learning styles, proximate learning opportunities, and human relationships sit at the core of an effective education. In Proctor, Brian sees a school that not only shares these core beliefs, but has the opportunity to help the greater educational landscape innovate toward more effective pedagogy through sharing Proctor's unique model more broadly.